The Konsortium

S/T

Agonia Records 2011

It's been a really long wait since I first heard this enigmatic band's demo until the release of their debut full-length album.  And I must say it was completely worth it.  The album is vicious and cold, but in a clinical and calculating way.  The sterile sound adds to the scalpel-sharp songwriting.  It's as if this is the musical embodiment of a darkened hospital, everything is clean yet ominous, death lurks in all those shiny and cold instruments laying on the surgeon's table.  Gasmask Prince gets the operation started.  Cold Nordic riffs are intertwined around twisting drum patterns while grim vocals steal all warmth from the room.  After a merciless blast of speed, Lik Ulven expands into deranged territories, with vocal segments that bring to mind the dramatic movements of Vulture Industries.  A burly rhythm opens Under The Black Flag accented by a humming bass guitar, and at times I hear the dissonant qualities of Thorns lurking in the surgical violence of the track.  However, the surreal lyrical performance invades the psyche of the song and abducts your mind taking it far afield from the black metal foundation of the track.  At the 3:53 mark a blasting Nordic riff brings the song to its violent climax.  A ropey bass guitar accompanies the plodding tempo of Decomposers.  Escaping clouds of shimmering dementia drape segments of the song in an unsettling haze.  Onwards! Onwards! shreds with aggressive riffing and declarative vocals, the riffs slithering while the drums hit intricate patterns.  An unrelenting flurry of speed and ever-evolving guitar lines leave your ears frostbitten on the album closer, Tesla.  A murky astral sound reveals itself when the guitars become muted, as if lurking beneath the surface of lake.  The song quickly leaps back into its frenzied pacing and hurtles towards it close.  Echoes of Voivod can be heard throughout the album as the robotic riffs and painted with a brush of mechanical disharmony.  The Konsortium deliver on the promise of their demo with an album that is equal parts Thorns and Vulture Industries, equal parts black metal disharmony and dream-like psychosis.  This is an album that will leave you freezing and disturbed.